It is important that parents are educated about normal sleep development, since they may mistake normal changes that happen at various developmental stages as “sleep problems”. It is also important that parents know what the research says about the effectiveness of behavioural sleep interventions (like the “crying it out” method) so that they can make informed decisions that are best for their families.
According to the available research, there is not enough evidence to recommend any specific behavioural sleep intervention for infants and young children. Instead, it may be most helpful for parents to learn about normal sleep development and address any concerns that may influence their child’s quality of sleep, like feeding issues or parental anxiety.
For more information about normal sleep development and common behavioural sleep interventions for infants and young children, see the resource titled Behavioural Sleep Interventions for Infants and Young Children: An Evidence Summary for Healthcare Providers.